in which I attempt to be a rockstar teacher librarian :)

Archive for October, 2011

New Librarianship requires New Librarians.

I got into an email conversation this week that went something like this.

“I’m a teacher and I want to be a school librarian. What classes do I need?”
“It’s a 37-credit hour program; you’ll earn your MLIS and NYS certification.”
“No, no, no, I’m already a teacher. I shouldn’t have to take that many classes.”

A few days later, I got into a conversation while in the learning commons about the idea of a learning commons.

“Oh, are you a student here?”
“Yes, I’m in the Master’s of Library and Information Science program here at SU.”
“Oh, so you can explain to me why it’s not quiet in here?”
“Ah, yes, I can. It’s a learning commons. Conversation is encouraged, collaboration among students, and you’re surrounded by great resources to use as well!”
“Hmph. I don’t see anyone studying or using resources. I just hear noise.”
“Well, the other five floors of Bird Library, as far as I know, are quiet floors, if that’s what you want…”
shocking: she didn’t move from her place on the “loud” floor.

And this got me thinking. We know what the ideas and concepts and theories behind “new librarianship” are. But to look at us… you wouldn’t necessarily think “new librarian!” (well, at least in the “not-using-old-standards” way. you might think “new to the field”.) So… I decided to do a very high-tech, super-resourceful Google Image search.

Librarians:

This is what the general populace thinks of when they think “librarian”.

I tried Google-Image searching cool librarian, awesome librarian, hip librarian, badass librarian… and the results were less than impressive. I did find these gems, though:

So…apparently it’s hip/awesome/cool to be…old-fashioned. Huh. Go figure.

All this to say…

WE are the face of librarianship. And as time progresses, we will be what people think of – we’ll be the new results on a google image search page (dear goodness, I hope so, anyway. Enough stereotypical clipart already.) So… what will be the mental image of a librarianship once we’ve successfully integrated all our fantastical plans and innovative (drink!) ideas? Just something to consider…

And as a closing – to be totally stereotypical librarian – this pictures makes me think one thing: WANT.

on web design.

Random, but we’ve got an interesting discussion going on in 605 on how to evaluate teh internetz and use it as a resource. A key comment that’s brought up on a regular basis is web design – opinions vary as to “If it looks good, I’m more likely to believe it” to “If it looks good, they might be putting up a sham front.” Like I said – opinions vary.

I remember posting something on facebook a year or two back – a statement of frustration that “if your website is poorly designed, I’m not giving you my business. I don’t have time to click around searching for everything I need.” Oddly enough – or not – this frustration came about when I was undertaking a search for graduate schools in library and information science. Go figure. And you know what? Students don’t want to have to take a class in internet research to learn how to use your website. And if you don’t make that information easy to find, I’m not going to spend the next ten minutes of my life searching for it. You should want to give me that information. It’s in your best interests.

So, web designers…colleges and universities…places that have an informative website that they want other people to actually read… more information isn’t necessarily more helpful. In fact, I would argue (based purely on anecdotes and personal opinion) that simple is better – even in this age of superfast internet.

And I suppose that’s all I have for you tonight. Keep searching, my friends!

Image

This awesome tool bubbl.us helped me construct this. Anyone who has talked to me at length this week has understood that I’m at the stage of the semester where it feels like everyday is three-steps-from-a-mental-collapse. I realized I needed to re-center my focus. School has a way of dragging us into a bunch of different directions, and it’s easy to lose ourselves in the process. Thus…enter bubbl.us and this nifty little not-a-flowchart into which I managed to sort out my thoughts.

(ahem, also, the image won’t display fullsize/high-res so clicking on it to enlarge should help. kthx.)

Image

having trouble putting all my thoughts into words this week.

made a tagxedo and filled it with the smattering of words that keep echoing around in here.